Can’t see other computers on network in Windows 7/8.1/10?


I often get asked the question ‘I can’t see other computers on network in Windows 7/8.1/10?’.

So, you’re trying to set up a home network and can’t seem to get it working.

You’ve plugged everything in and the computer on which the router is hooked up says that there are no other computers on the network.

Here’s a list of things you can do to troubleshoot your situation:

Change to Public to Private

  1. Click on your network connection -> 2. Go to Properties


Switch from ‘Public’ to ‘Private’


Check all connections

Next, check all connections. If possible, try going to where the modem is at physically and check all of those connections using another computer if possible. If not, use the modem itself with an ethernet cable from your internet provider/modem into router or into computer. Reboot everything if this works fine then move to the next step.

Turn off the firewall

Next, turn off the firewall for both wired and wireless networks via Control Panel > Windows Firewall. If you are using a router, make sure the firewall is turned off for both wireless and wired connections via your specific router’s settings. Reboot everything here too if this works fine then move to the next step.

If still no connection, try another ethernet cable or connect to another port on your router to see if it works there. If not, try going into device manager and checking which network adapters are working properly by right clicking my computer > manage > devices and printers > network adapter

Make sure that the correct NIC (Network Interface Card) is being used in properties of a network adapter by double clicking a network adapter then going into advanced tab then moving from ‘General’ to ‘Advanced’. Now make sure the NIC is enabled, if not enable it here.

Try ipconfig/all

If still can’t see other computers try going into command prompt and running “ipconfig /all” (no quotes) to see which network adapters are on this computer (LAN or Wireless), then look at your router configuration page for these MAC addresses (the first 6 bands of each NIC). If they do not match, input them in their respective boxes on the router configuration page. Once done, save settings and reboot everything again.

Try connecting to router directly

If still no connection here, you may need to connect directly to your modem instead of your router via ethernet cable and disable Wi-Fi functionality on this computer as there may be issues with wireless drivers that may cause problems with wired connections too. You can also try connecting this computer to your router with an ethernet cable and disabling the wireless functionality on your router. If this does not work, you can do a factory reset on your modem (you will need to input settings again afterwards).

If there are no available wired connections on either of these computers or if they both fail to connect, it is most likely that one or more of the switches in between them got unplugged during power outage/maintenance.

Faulty drivers

This is usually caused by faulty network adapter drivers. These errors will be shown in Windows device manager under “Network adapters”. Right click each buggy adapter and select “uninstall”, then reboot into safe mode (hold F8 during bootup) and uninstall all other non-Microsoft drivers while in safe mode. Reboot into normal Windows and the Microsoft drivers should now work fine.

If you get something like the below error message:

An error has occurred communicating with the file server, check network connectivity.

This error is caused by a corrupt file on your computer or a temporary problem with one of our fileservers. This can be fixed by deleting the offline files cache: Click Start > type “Offline Files” > click “Manage Offline Files” from the list of results > select any entries you want to remove, then right click and choose delete. After this, try opening files again that were giving you trouble. If this does not fix it, empty your recycle bin as well just in case it still has a copy of that file somewhere inside it (don’t worry, it won’t). Do not attempt to recover any files from the recycle bin afterwards.

If you still cannot connect after emptying your offline files cache, that means there is a problem with fileserver’s hardware or network connectivity. This can be fixed by calling in one of our IT technicians.

If this does not fix it, we suggest reinstalling the latest version of the .NET Framework: Click Start > type “Features” > select “.NET Framework 3.5 (includes .NET 2.0 and 3.0)” > click OK on the pop-up window and run through installation process for Microsoft .NET Framework 3.5. You must restart your computer for this installation to finish.

Reinstall Windows 7/8.1/10

If even that doesn’t work, you may need to send your PC away for computer repairs and possibly reinstall Windows 7/8.1/10.

I am a computer engineer holding a bachelor's degree in Computer Science, complemented by a Master's in Business Administration from University of Strathclyde, Scotland. I currently work as a Senior IT Consultant in Melbourne, Australia. With over 15 years of...